Palo Alto Patch: Frankel Discusses Jewish Involvement in SA Anti-Apartheid


Palo Alto Patch
November 4, 2014:

Inspired by the author’s childhood in South Africa, this harrowing narrative exposes readers to a part of history largely overlooked—that the vanguard of the white South African anti-apartheid movement was heavily Jewish…

Neville Frankel’s newest novel is a sweeping family tale unfolding against the violent South African apartheid. With historical accuracy and vivid immediacy, Bloodlines captures the day-to-day brutality of apartheid, the rich customs and spirituality of Zulu culture, and the breathtaking beauty and daunting wilds of South Africa. Bloodlines raises universal questions about the limits of tolerance and forgiveness, the hold of the past, and the enduring bond between mother and child. The Atlantic Monthly says, “(Frankel) takes his readers into a journey that explores the vivid contrasts of a country both beautiful and brutal, and rewards us with a book that is a triumphant celebration of human dignity and the abiding power of love.”

Frankel’s first novel, The Third Power, is a gripping political thriller about the transformation of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. In this fascinating World War III scenario, the South African Prime Minister threatens to use atomic warheads on neighboring Zimbabwe if Soviet-inspired invaders do not leave the country. The New York Times Book Review says, “Certainly the subject is big enough to command the reader’s attention, and Mr. Frankel handles it quite nicely.”

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neville Frankel immigrated to Boston with his family when he was fourteen. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he pursued doctoral work in English literature at the University of Toronto.

While in Canada, he wrote The Third Power and received an Emmy for his work on a BBC documentary, Mind of a Murderer: Part I. In 2002 he returned to South Africa for the first time in thirty-eight years. Over the next decade he went back several more times, researching what would become Bloodlines.